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Harry Luce, Time inc. and the power of the press

Posted by: | October 23, 2012 | No Comment |

On March 3, 1923, Time Inc. launched its first issue of Time Magazine. This innovative publication was the first weekly news magazine in existence, and would go on to be a resounding success.

Quickly breaking from its original print format, Time started to advertise on the infant radio networks. From there, a short, 15 minute news segment, “The March of Time,” was created, providing Time with more publicity, and furthering the popularity, and influence, of the organization.

Time Inc, which after 1929 was dominated by principle share holder and co-founder Henry Luce, would branch out with publications such as Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated.

As his publishing empire grew, so did Luce’s determination to share his political views with his employees and readers alike. Luce was “a stanch Republican, a defender of big business and free enterprise, a foe of big labor, a steadfast supporter of Chiang Kai-shek, an advocate of aggressive opposition to world Communism. He was also an Anglophile, but he believed that “the 20th century must be to a significant degree the American century.””

As his voice grew louder, his enemies grew in number. During the course of the Second World War, President Roosevelt forbade Luce to travel outside of the country to the different fronts, a ban that would stay in place until FDR’s death.

A right leaning bias ran through Time and it’s numerous partner publications until Luce’s death in 1967. Through an organ that spoke to millions every week, Luce inserted his views to the general public: a prime example of the power of the press.

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